Margel HINDER, Revolving construction. Enlarge 1 /7
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New York, New York, USA 1906 – 1995

Revolving construction. c.1957 Materials & Technique: sculptures, monel metal and fuse wire, electric motor, electrical component.

Dimensions: overall 60.5 h x 83.0 w x 77.0 d cm a) 60.5 h 83.0 diameter cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1980
Accession No: NGA 80.3677

Composed in equal parts of ‘geometry and poetry’,1 Margel Hinder’s ‘Revolves’ are lyrical studies of the sculptural dimensions of space and movement.

Revolving construction, constructed of Monel metal and fuse wire, is a delicate silver web of straight and curved lines. Suspended from the ceiling and powered by a small electric motor, the work slowly turns on its axis, presenting a complex choreography of opening and closing forms and of converging and dispersing lines. In Revolving construction, we see Hinder’s highly sophisticated feeling for form within form, and for dynamic and asymmetrical composition.

American-born Hinder came to Australia in 1934 with her husband, artist Frank Hinder. Settling in Sydney, they soon became part of a small group of artists including Ralph Balson and Grace Crowley, who were committed to exploring post-cubist abstraction in their work. Hinder’s sculptures from this time were predominantly woodcarvings of abstracted organic forms. However, in the late 1940s and influenced by the European constructivist sculptors Naum Gabo and Lazlo Moholy-Nagy, Hinder began to experiment with ‘modern’ materials, such as wire and plastics, to construct open and transparent forms and to investigate the possibility of incorporating movement in her work. These experiments would eventually lead to the first of her ‘Revolves’, constructed in 1953. In her later career, Hinder executed many large-scale public commissions and was recognised as one of the pioneers of abstraction in sculpture in Australia.

Elena Taylor

1James Gleeson, ‘Seeking Refuge in Sculpture’, Sun (Sydney), 10 April 1957, p.36.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010
From: Anne Gray (ed), Australian art in the National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2002